Everyone warned me that when I learnt to drive I would become a taxi service for my parents. I didn’t mind this so much, after all, they spent years ferrying me to the yard and back so they should get a lift in return. And they pay for my petrol… But I underestimated how exciting life as a taxi driver could be!
Last night my parents went out for a Burns night do at their friends. The husband works as a farm manager so their house is a mile or two away from a small village a couple of miles from here. They have a long, straight track leading up to their house; we used to go up there when I was learning to drive to practice clutch control, hill starts, emergency stops etc. I also learned that I couldn’t drive in a straight line..
So the parents left my sister, who is two years younger than me, and myself at home. I cooked dinner and was effectively ‘in charge’. What this really means is that if anything happens my sister, I have to sort it out. If anything happens to me, I also have to sort it out. Holly was complaining about having a headache, so I told her to take some paracetamol. Which of course she didn’t. At ten o’clock she said it was so bad that she was going to bed. Again, she wouldn’t take any paracetamol. This annoyed me; I knew exactly why she wouldn’t take any paracetamol. Her biology teacher last year had told the class he never took it because X Y Z bad things could happen to you if you did, and as Holly worries a lot she vowed never to take it again. So because of this stupid, arrogant teacher my sister sits there with a really bad head-ache, too scared to take anything for it!
I stayed up a bit longer watching TV and went to bed at about eleven. I was in bed reading my book when I heard some noises coming from her room. Got out of bed. “Holly, are you ok?” “Bleuuurrghghhhh” was the response I got. Hmmm, obviously not OK then! “I’ll call mum”
Of course mum’s phone went straight onto answer phone. It was a long shot, but I tried dad’s phone too. It rang and rang and finally clicked onto answer phone as well. Great. Neither answering their phone and I can’t remember how to get to the house their at. I texted my friend, whose parents were also at the party to get the number for the house. She gave it to me with ‘But they might not hear it because they’ll be in the barn’ Worth a try though. Fortunately, it was picked up after two rings, and the phone was taken across to my mum. I explained to her what had happened and she said “Do you want to come and get us then?” Well no not really, but needs must.
I asked her for directions to the house. Out on the main road, take the first turning to Ardington to where we park to walk the dog, through to the next village, it wiggles round and then the track is on the right. OK, got it. Told Holly where I was going, got changed and jumping in my car. When I was getting my shoes I noticed the light by the back door that’s on a sensor was on. I thought it must be the cat, but froze when I heard the cat coming down stairs. A little spooked by this, I jumped in the car and pushed the door handle in to lock the doors from the inside. Engine on , lights on, go.
I drove out along the main road, found the first turning and turned right. About half way down the road – driving really slowely because deer have jumped out at me along here before- my heart skipped a beat as I realised this road didn’t go to where we parked to walk the dogs. It went very close, but veered right at the last minute. There was no way there was enough space to turn around. I knew where the road went, and I thought I could wiggle through to the next village, so I stuck with it. I drove along the road, the racing jumps looking at me out of the darkness. Then past the racing yard, Henrietta Knight’s, horses stirring in the shadows. I got to a T-junction. Left down the hill or right up the hill? I chose right, because I know the house is at the top of a hill. I recognised the village green at the top; there’s a statue of Best Mate the racehorse there, but I couldn’t see him in the dark. The turning is up here on the right somewhere….
Damn, was that it? Slammed on the brakes, into reverse and reversed along the road. Yep, that’s my turning. Now for the long, straight track leading up to the house. Fine if you can steer in a straight line, tricky if you can’t! I overshot the house, turned round in the old dairy unit and pulled up outside to phone mum. I turned the engine off but it was too dark and quiet, so I turned it back on again. When I saw mum, I pulled on the door handle to unlock the doors. Nothing. Tried the passenger side. Still nothing. Engine off, engine on. Nothing. In the end I had to wind down the window and give the key to mum so she could unlock the door from the outside! Don’t think I’ll be locking myself in again!
When I finally got home I went straight to bed! Enough excitement for one night!